Favorite website? Chessbase.com!

by Johannes Fischer
9/13/2016 – Chessplayers from all over the world meet at the Chess Olympiad in Baku, super grandmasters and professionals, amateurs and casual players. This creates a unique atmosphere and lots of chances for a little chat. Which the ChessBase team in Baku likes to use for interviews with a variety of players. Fabiano Caruana and Robert Hess were both ready to answer a barrage of questions in 99 seconds.

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ChessBase is a personal, stand-alone chess database that has become the standard throughout the world. Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it.


99 seconds, a lot of questions about various topics - that provokes honesty. Which is good to know when Fabiano Caruana revealed his "favorite website" - he gave the "right" answer! Which in turn gave Robert Hess a chance to add variety to the interviews by opting for a different website.

"99 Seconds" with Fabiano Caruana


"99 Seconds" with Robert Hess

Did you notice that both Hess and Caruana have the same "favorite chessbook"? Both were particularly impressed by "Zurich 1953". Admittedly, it is not entirely clear whether Caruana and Hess were talking about the same book. After all, Miguel Najdorf, Max Euwe and David Bronstein who all took part in Zürich, wrote books about this long and strong Candidates Tournament won by Vassily Smyslov. But as Bronstein's book is the most famous and best known Caruana and Hess probably had that in mind.

Bronstein's Zürich 1953 is indeed a real classic of chess literature and the fact that both Hess and Caruana are fond of it, a reminder how much fun and how rewarding it can be to study the classics. Which IM Sagar Shah does with enthusiasm.

Learn from the Classics

By IM Sagar Shah

Languages: English
ISBN: 978-3-86681-500-1
Delivery: Download, Post
Level: Tournament player, Professional
Price: €29.90 or €25.13 without VAT (for Customers outside the EU) $27.06 (without VAT)

Wise and successful players of the game have always told us to study the classics – games by the great masters of the past. But in this age of cutting-edge opening theory, preparation and engines, is studying the classics really that helpful?

On this DVD, Sagar Shah does'nt merely preach. First, he shows you classical games of great legends such as Petrosian, Botvinnik, Fischer, Korchnoi and Kasparov, looking at typical patterns and ideas from the middlegame. The author then goes on to explain how you can use these ideas in your own battles – by showing you examples of applied classical knowledge from his own games!

As well as looking at the middlegame, Sagar also focuses on the opening. The information explosion has ensured that opening theory continues to evolve at a rapid pace. The author shows that playing through the classics can help us establish a strong and stable feel for the initial phase of the game, and analyzes the opening duel between Botvinnik and Petrosian from their World Championship match in 1963. Going over these games will give you an excellent idea of how the classics can be used to prepare your own openings.

Order Sagar Shah's Learn from the Classics in the ChessBase Shop

Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".


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Brian Smith Brian Smith 9/14/2016 02:47
I have both...read much of each. I think it depends on my mood which is 'best'. Sometimes Bronstein's is more enlightening (educational), sometimes Najdorf's. Najdorf's definitely has more 'spirit' to it. If I had to give up one forever and keep the other...I think I would chose to keep Najdorf's.
I have read that some of Bronsteins 'revisions' came about after he got hold of Najdorf's book...I only have one version so I can't really speak to this.
Get them both!
Mr TambourineMan Mr TambourineMan 9/13/2016 11:26
Gideon Ståhlberg and Paul Keres also wrote a book about Zurich 53 in Swedish language. Ståhlberg and Najdorf was friends, Stahlberg also lived in Argentina, so maybe Najdorfs book was influenced by Ståhlberg or the other way around. Would be intresting to know which book that published first Bronstein, Najdorf, Ståhlberg or Euwe? The Ståhlberg book was published 1954 called Världsschackturneringen Neuhausen-Zurich 1953
yesenadam yesenadam 9/13/2016 10:39
I just googled it, and .. John Watson in his review says although probably neither Bronstein nor Najdorf wrote most of their book (!) - Najdorf's is "easily the best and most entertaining".
yesenadam yesenadam 9/13/2016 10:31
I heard somewhere that Najdorf's book is incomparably superior to Bronstein's. Would anyone who's read both care to comment? I've never seen the Najdorf around, maybe it's just unaccountably rare. (or maybe the Euwe one's the best...)